"Why I Am Drawn To Charles Schick's and Regina Bartkoff's Oil Paintings"
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Joy Rip
"How to represent pain, suffering, terror, horror, decay, death, ugliness, that exists in life, without devaluing life? Without turning away from life. Without learning to love life less. Artists everywhere want something more than the money-grubbing shock value, horror film, sex & violence saturated esthetic that permeates entertainment. But they want their dose of reality, too. I love the beautiful dreamy images of Chagall, but could he give you the same sweet meaning and feeling of mystery and beauty with images that didn't ignore images of the horrific? Seems far more difficult. Anyone can ignore the bad and emphasize the good (and vice versa). But finding the genuinely good in all of the bad, while still showing the bad, is the trick. I think Chagall found the good without ignoring the bad, and that is why his images instill such profound feelings, and not just airy fairy fantasies. But since he didn't feel it necessary to show the bad, you don't really know how he did it or whether he actually did it. After all, it's just easier to feel good about pretty pictures than with images that try to tackle the existence of unimaginable suffering and the profoundly ugly. Creating, seeing beauty where no one else sees it is the artist's true calling. It makes life more worth living. Great art makes everyone's life more worth living. (To see more works by Charles Schick and Regina BartKoff, see the Artpig Retrospective of their past exhibits and performances.)"
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